LEWISBURG — Landon Rudy dragged his fingers through the Dig It archaeology exhibit Wednesday at Lewisburg Children’s Museum and came up with just one toy bone.
“Where are all the other bones?” asked Rudy’s grandmother, Stephanie English, of Milton.
“I would have 50 by now,” the 7-year-old York County child replied, referring to his hunt for bones in the days before the novel coronavirus forced the facility to close.
The museum reopened to members last week. Wednesday brought the official public reopening after a closure lasting more than four months.
Rudy made it to the museum during afternoon operating hours with English. Ruth Kennedy, of Watsontown, brought her sons, Ian, 10, and Oliver, 7. Cherish Houseknecht, of Herndon, visited with her sons, Abel, 4, and Ezra, 1. About 30 others visited in the morning hours.
All adults and all kids but the youngest wore masks hugged tightly to their faces — the state’s mask order allows children under 2 not to wear one. The kids largely kept to themselves.
Houseknecht, who’s family is a museum member, said museum staff are friendly and understanding of how young children don’t understand social distancing.
“Last week, we saw workers cleaning rooms the whole time,” Houseknecht said.
English, who works as a nurse, said she teaches children in her family to avoid touching their faces and to regularly wash their hands. She said her grandson is actually quite aware of social distancing.
“The children need to socialize. They need to come together,” English said.
Things are a little different at the museum now. The Mission to Mars exhibit is closed because it utilizes blown air, a potential risk with an airborne virus. Huge building blocks usually stacked nearby are in storage. Mostly, there aren’t as many props put out with the exhibits as there had been pre-pandemic.
Visitors are encouraged to buy tickets ahead of time. They can choose morning and afternoon blocks of hours to visit. The facility closes at noon for deep cleaning, though, staffers routinely walk throughout the exhibits during operating hours to sanitize heavy-touch surfaces and items.
Masks are a must to enter the facility. There’s plenty of hand sanitizer for visitors. Signage hung around the exhibits reminds visitors to maintain 6 feet of distance with anyone who they don’t live with.
“There was a lot of brainpower put into organizing a plan to figure out how to make it the safest environment for children to come back into,” Lindsey Walter, education director, said. “You’re still able to do a lot of things.”
For visiting guidelines, ticket pricing and reservations, visit www.lewisburgchildrensmuseum.org.